QUIZ ABOUT BUTTERFLIES
Q1: Why are butterflies so colourful?
A1: Color is important in many ways. It functions as camouflage, to absorb heat, aids in finding a mate, serves as a warning, and in many more ways.
Q2: Which butterfly is bigger, the male or female?
A2: Though it depends on the species, the female butterfly is often larger.
Q3: What do butterflies eat?
A3: The majority of butterflies feed on flower nectar and pollen.
Q4: How did the butterfly get its name?
A: There are a number of stories about this. The story I like comes from Europe. During the spring, cows would have their calves. The cows would produce milk that would be turned into butter. Springtime is also when butterflies start to come out. These flying bugs were named butterflies because they would fly around while milk was churned to butter.
Q4: Why do butterflies taste with their feet?
A: When you think about it, it's pretty handy. When a butterfly lands on a plant, it can instantly "taste" whether it is the kind of plant it is looking for! Aren't you glad YOU don't taste with your feet? I would get pretty tired of the taste of socks.
Q5: Who are butterflies' enemies?
A5: Butterflies have many enemies. Insects may eat their eggs, birds like to eat the caterpillars and lots of things like to eat the adults. A butterfly may land on a flower only to find itself in the clutches of a hungry crab spider or being attacked by a praying mantis or damsel bug. Some butterflies, like the monarch, taste awful and advertise this fact by being bright orange. They taste awful because as caterpillars they feed on milkweeds, which contains a special chemical.
Q6: How long do butterflies live? How long do they stay in their cocoons?
A6: Butterfly life span varies greatly. Opler and Krizek in Butterflies East of the Great Plains, state that the "expected life span" (which is usually much shorter than the "maximum life span" because of predators, weather, etc.) ranges from about 2 to 14 days after they emerge from the chrysalis. Maximum life span ranges from about 4 days (spring azure) to 10 to 11 months (mourning cloak). Females generally live longer than males.
Q7: If you touch a butterfly's wing, does it die?
A7: Not unless you rub too many of the protective scales off. When you touch the wing of a butterfly or moth, some dust seems to rub off on your fingers. This "dust" is made up of tiny scales take a close look at a butterfly wing to see them. These scales help the butterfly to fly and are responsible for the colours we see on their wings. It is generally not a good idea to touch a butterfly's wings.
Q8: How big is a caterpillar when it's born?
A8: Maybe twice as long as the diameter of the egg. They are small. The caterpillars grow fast.